High school students who take music courses score significantly better in exams than their non-musical peers, says a study.
For the study published in The Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers examined over one lakh students in public schools in British Columbia, Canada.
"Students who learned to play a musical instrument not only scored significantly higher but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, Mathematics and Science skills, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, and gender," said Peter Gouzouasis, Professor at the University of British Columbia.
The research team also found that predictive relationship between music education and academic achievement were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music.
The findings suggest skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students' learning in school.
"A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice... all these experiences play a role in enhancing the learner's cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy," said study co-author Martin Guhn, Assistant Professor at the varsity.